The Truth about the Jeffrey Epstein John Does
There is a certain level of difficulty in reporting on the Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell saga, much of it having to do with what the authorities haven’t revealed: the web of Epstein’s network (much of it still secret), the ties to intelligence (of which documentary evidence is still hidden from public view), the internal deliberations that went on at Main Justice in Washington, D.C. when Epstein got his sweetheart plea deal (again, not yet publicized).
Add to that the false media reports and blatantly inaccurate social media posts that spring up every time there’s any small development in any Epstein or Maxwell case.
Like today, for example.
The Daily Mail led the way, reporting that a federal judge “has ruled to unseal documents that would name 177 Does who are Epstein’s friends, recruiters and victims within the coming weeks.” This was followed by a flurry of social media takes – especially on Twitter – promising there will be serious revelations from these records or claims that “177 Jeffrey Epstein high profile associates will be revealed in the new year.”
There’s a problem with that sensationalism: it’s inaccurate.
To explain what’s really going on, allow us to provide some context. Back in February of 2023, the Federal District Court Judge overseeing Virginia Giuffre v. Ghislaine Maxwell (the civil case brought against Maxwell by one of her victims) considered whether to publicly disclose the names of certain “John Does” that came up during the course of that litigation. The attorneys for Giuffre and Maxwell put together a list of 167 John Does and provided descriptive references for each, which would allow the Judge to determine which John Does should be unsealed and which ones should remain sealed.
At that time, we reviewed the list of John Does and assigned them various categories, including whether they were employees of Epstein, witnesses, or perpetrators; and whether their names were already known to the public. We were able to identify the most important alleged perpetrators and discussed the still-redacted facts surrounding their involvement with Epstein.
We also made clear that the majority of the John Does (approximately 100) had already been identified, whether through the media or court proceedings. Some had been interviewed by the media; their stories were already well known. We observed that many of the John Does were identified as not being involved in the more serious allegations against Epstein or Maxwell and that there were no “salacious” allegations against these individuals, some of whom were doctors or acquaintances of the victims. In some instances, the John Does were actual potential victims of Epstein or Maxwell.
And now for today’s developments.
The Judge has ordered the unsealing of names and materials relating to some – but not all – of the 167 John Does (not 177 as has been reported) identified in the list submitted to the Court. View the full order here.
As we clarified last February, the John Does who will be unsealed aren’t “Epstein’s List.” Their names were referenced in any number of ways during the civil case, whether through depositions, medical records (the names of doctors), or in witness lists exchanged between the parties. (To that we add a note of caution: witness lists can be very broad and not all witnesses are material or have even basic information.)
And again, many of the John Does were not alleged by the parties to have committed any wrongdoing. For example, John Doe 14 is referenced in one sealed court filing related to an effort by Maxwell to oppose answering deposition questions under seal. The “sealed material as to [John Doe 14] is not salacious.” He isn’t, as others have promised, a key figure in the Epstein/Maxwell crimes.
And that’s true for many of the other John Does. We’ve analyzed the prior John Doe lists and compared it to today’s order. Here’s the summary of our findings:
There are approximately 100 John Does who were previously identified. Some had been interviewed by the media. The names of others (including victims) had been discussed in Maxwell’s criminal trial. This includes victims and perpetrators.
Approximately 67 remain unidentified.
For 33 of the unknown John Does: the sealed material relating to them “is not salacious” or their name was in a search term or they were mentioned in a deposition. In the case of John Doe 88, “the only reference [of John Doe 88] is a deposition question in answer to which the deponent denied knowledge of the individual.”
Six of the unidentified John Does are victims whose names will not be released.
Six of the unidentified John Does were identified as either victim affiliates or alleged witnesses with connections to the victims. Their names and materials concerning them will be released.
The names, and materials relating to, a number of Epstein affiliates or former Epstein employees will be released. Records indicate – but do not guarantee – that the majority of these do not include salacious information.
The name and materials concerning John Doe 29 – a former Epstein employee – will be unsealed. The Judge described them as “a staff member possibly present at a time and place.” This might be an Epstein employee who was theorized by a witness to perhaps be present in a home when a victim was abused.
There are, however, John Does who may be significant. But that is a small number compared to the 167 John Does subject to the Judge’s order. We’ve summarized them below.
John Doe 58: An alleged witness, Epstein/Maxwell affiliate, and perpetrator. According to the Judge, “Doe 58’s name and any identifying information shall remain sealed. Doe is a classic outsider, peripheral to the events at issue. Doe 58 is neither a victim nor associated with Epstein or Maxwell.”
As we previously noted about John Doe 58:
John Doe 86: An alleged Epstein affiliate. Counsel for Maxwell previously informed the Court that “Some material related to this individual is salacious.” Materials relating to John Doe 86 will be “unsealed in full.”
John Doe 94: Previously identified as “alleged victim affiliate; alleged perpetrator” who “is alleged to have engaged in serious wrongdoing.” Materials relating to John Doe 94 will be “unsealed in full.”
John Doe 108: Previously identified as an “alleged witness.” These materials may potentially be salacious.
John Doe 113: Previously identified as “alleged Epstein affiliate; alleged witness” who “is alleged to have engaged in serious wrongdoing.” The Judge ruled these materials should be unsealed in full, and stated the references to John Doe 113 “are all included in Rule 26 disclosures, search terms, and a hearsay statement that the name appears in Epstein’s address book.”
John Doe 114: Previously identified as an “alleged Epstein affiliate.” Their name is on an Epstein flight log. These materials will be unsealed.
And there you have it. I hate to break the disappointing news, but we’re here to report the truth. The unsealing of these records and the publication of these names won’t be what we’ve been promised.
This doesn’t mean that important information won’t be disclosed, or that new and noteworthy discoveries may not be unearthed about known and unknown perpetrators. We believe that still may be the case.
And we’ll provide the source documents when they’re released – which, depending on appeals, may be as soon as January 2, 2024.